Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 16, 2020 / 10:00 am
The Italian businessman at the center of the Vatican’s London property scandal is asking a British court to rule that he acted in good faith. Lawyers for Raffaele Mincione are arguing that the Holy See is trying to nullify the deal, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to new reports.
Mincione filed two suits in the High Court of England and Wales earlier this year against the Holy See Secretariat of State and the holding company through which it controls the building at 60 Sloane Ave. in London, purchased in stages from Mincione for some $300 million.
Details of the suits had not previously been made public, but on Sept. 15, Law360 reported that Mincione is seeking declaratory relief from the court, asking that a judge rule he did not behave improperly in his dealings with the Vatican.
On June 17, Mincione’s company WRM Capinvest filed suit against the Jersey-registered holding company, 60 SA Ltd., through which the Vatican owns the building. In a separate action, Luxembourg-based Athena Capital Fund SICAV-FIS SCA, a unit of Athena Capital Fund, which is also owned by Mincione, filed a commercial contract claim against the Secretariat of State. It is unclear when that second action was first filed.